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Home » Epson 288 vs 288xl: Which Cartridge Ink is Better?

Epson 288 vs 288xl: Which Cartridge Ink is Better?


Epson is a solid choice for printers. There is the right amount of technology and features for good value. The problem, as with most printers, is the cost of the ink. There are numerous options available for each model. While you might want to try generic cartridges. There is a good reason to use Epson originals.

Epson original cartridges are quite expensive, but they don’t damage your printer. We are going to look at two sets of cartridges, the Epson 288 vs 288xl. Once we have considered all of the specifications, included a comparison chart and some pros and cons, we will decide which is the best buy.

Let’s start with what the Epson 288 and the Epson 288xl have in common.

Epson 288 vs 288xl – Similarities

Suitable Paper

You can use the Epson 288 and the Epson 288xl with plain and glossy paper.

Available Packs

The Epson 288 and the Epson 288xl come in individual black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges. You can also buy a 2 pack in black, a pack of cyan, magenta, and yellow. Finally, there is the option to buy a pack of all 4 cartridges, black, cyan, magenta, and yellow.

Printer Compatibility

These cartridges are suitable for small all-in-one Epson printers. The Epson 288 and the Epson 288xl are compatible with printers in the Expression Home series, including the XP-434, XP-340, XP-446, XP-440, XP-430 and the XP-330.

DURABrite Ultra Ink

With DURABrite Ultra Ink, the pigment in the Epson 288 and the Epson 288xl ink has a resign coat. This prevents the ink from bleeding onto the other side of the page, so they are ideal for double-sided printing.

Ink Resistance

The Epson 288 and the Epson 288xl are instant-dry cartridges.  This fast-drying ink makes them smudge, fade, and water-resistant. The end result is high-quality, brilliant documents and photos.

Side By Side Comparison

Below you will find all of the product information side by side for a quick overview.


Epson 288

Epson 288xl

ImageEpson 288Epson 288XL comparison
Manufacturer NumberT288120-ST125120
Suitable PaperPlain and glossyPlain and Glossy
Available PacksBlack, Black 2 pack, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, C/M/Y 3 pack, C/M/Y/B 4 packBlack, Black 2 pack, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, C/M/Y 3 pack, C/M/Y/B 4 pack
Printer CompatibilityExpression Home XP-434, XP-340, XP-446, XP-440, XP-430, XP-330Expression Home XP-434, XP-340, XP-466, XP-440, XP-430, XP-330,
DURABrite UltraYesYes
ResistanceSmudge, water, and fadeSmudge, water, and fade
Instant DryYesYes
CapacityStandardHigh Capacity- 2.5x more prints

These cartridges are so similar there is actually only one key difference between them, so we will look at this now.

Read next – Epson 252 vs 252XL: Which Cartridge Ink is Better?

Differences Between Epson 288 and Epson 288XL


The capacity of the ink cartridges will determine the number of prints per cartridge before you need to replace them.

Epson 288XL

Epson 288

These are standard-capacity ink cartridges. Prices range from $12 to $41.

Epson 288xl

The advantage is that these are high-capacity cartridges, containing 2.5 more times ink than the standard cartridges. Prices normally range from around $16 to $58.

The Winner Is- The Epson 288xl

Read next – Epson 126 vs 127: Which Cartridge Ink is Better?

Pros and Cons

These Epson ink cartridges are so similar that it might be down to the pros and cons to make a decision.

Epson 288


  • This ink produces lovely bold prints
  • It won’t matter if you don’t print frequently; the ink won’t dry out
  • It does a good job on card stock if your printer can take it


  • You will need to buy all 4 cartridges, even if you only print in black and white

Epson 288xl


  • Fantastic colors when printing pictures
  • Generally, there are fewer issues with long-term use
  • Very simple installation as they just click into place


  • You might find you need to clean your printer heads more often

The Final Verdict

In the first place, we have to say that DURABrite Ultra ink produces much better results on both plain and glossy paper. We loved the rich colors and clarity of the images. They really are smudge resistant which is great because it prevents you from having to reprint smeared documents and images. On the downside, it is frustrating that if you run out of one of the colors, you can’t print in black and white only.

The decision came down to value for money, which again, wasn’t easy. With regards to the black cartridges, there is little to no savings when choosing the Epson 288xl over the Epson 288. Whereas for the color cartridges, it does make sense to buy the Epson 288XL. We decided that as these are for small all-in-one printers, people tend not to print in high volumes, so today’s winner is the Epson 288.